May 17, 2013
Box Score (PDF)
HOUSTON -- A relentless attack by the 20th-ranked Owls of Rice was the story in game two of the Conference USA series at Reckling Park on Friday as the Thundering Herd baseball team fell 13-0.
Rice (26-17, 14-9 C-USA) won the series and put itself in position to win the league’s regular season outright while Marshall (20-33, 6-17 C-USA) will need to win Saturday’s finale and receive help in order to qualify for the conference tournament.
Marshall right-hander Aaron Blair (5-5) looked sharp early, but came undone due to control problems. He walked five and allowed six (earned) runs on seven hits before being removed after three innings. The junior’s one strikeout in the loss was career number 200, sixth all-time at Marshall.
Blair struggled in the second and third, allowing three straight two-out singles in the second, then walking three with two out in the third. There was no real blow dealt by Rice, but the Owls instead nickeled and dimed the Las Vegas, Nev., native by batting around the order in both the second and the third.
Rice added a run in the fourth off reliever Michael Taylor before plating one in the fifth and five in the sixth off Zachary Shockley.
Isaac Ballou finished 2-for-3 but saw his day shortened, too, when Robert Fajardo, one of four substitutes used by the Herd, replaced him in center field in the seventh.
Marshall and Rice will finish the series on Saturday with first pitch set for 2 p.m. ET. With the Herd’s loss and UAB’s 4-2 victory in New Orleans, La., Marshall must win Saturday’s finale and have the Blazers lose their finale in order to qualify for the C-USA postseason tournament.